12th Annual Dave Collyer Memorial

Probably the largest, and undoubtedly the strongest, tournament in Spokane history
took place February 21-22, 2004. The Twelfth Dave Collyer Memorial tournament attracted
62 players from five states (including 14 who ventured over from Montana), with
eleven of the contestants rated 2000 or better. IM John Donaldson and local Expert Curt
Collyer shared
the title with 4.5
scores. Each
claimed $250
for their efforts.
A total of $1500
in prizes was
awarded. The
surprise of the
year was the
number of
As is typical in
an open tourney,
the first round
presented the
biggest pairing
of the event. Unlike
most years, this
year the lower rated
 players struck hard and frequently. Jeremy Younker (1591), whose chess has been limited by
school and work to playing only in this event, recorded the
biggest upset of the tourney by besting NM Nat Koons (2021) in the first round. Not far
behind was Yakima's Terry Fortier (1283), who downed Montana's Jim Skovron (1817).
There also were four upset draws recorded that round, including two between players
rated 500 points apart.

The second round saw upsets continuing, including ninth grader Daniel Copeland's (1696)
conquest of Matt Goshen (2000). Copeland would finish the day with one of five perfect
scores and ultimately finished with 4 points to join the six way tie for third overall and
win the "B" prize. IM Eric Tangborn, who was making his first visit to the Collyer tourney,
was held to a draw by Spokane's Kirk Steinocher (1866). Two other upset victories
were recorded, including Pat Kirlin (1379) over Skovron. A knowledgeable chess
spectator at this point decided to donate $50 for an additional upset prize (only
one had been advertised). It proved to be a good thing as ultimately five games involved
victories by players rated at least 400 points lower than their opponents.

The second round also saw the "Best Game" of the event: Nick Raptis' victory over
Dustin Benson. That game, which won the $100 donated prize, was highlighted by a
queen sacrifice.
The third round was highlighted
by Daniel Copeland's (1696)
victory over Montana Champion
Greg Nowak (2153). Only five
players finished the day with
perfect 3.0 scores. That number
was reduced to one by the end
of the fourth round. Donaldson
bested Oregon Champion
Nick Raptis, while Collyer
and FM David Sprenkle fought
long and hard before drawing
with opposite colored bishops.
John Julian stopped Copeland's
run, and hope of facing Donaldson in the championship game, with a hard fought victory.

Donaldson and Sprenkle reached a quick draw in round five, leaving the winner of the
Julian-Collyer game with a chance to catch Donaldson. Collyer eventually prevailed over
his longtime friend and rival to share the first place title. Final round class pairings
also resulted in most of the class prizes being settled in head to head contests. Chris
Drake defeated Paul Barton to win the Expert section with a 3.5 score. That prize was
added to the event after Northwest Chess made a generous $100 donation to the tourney.

The other class prizes were $100 to first and $50 to second. The winners were: (A) Kirk
Steinocher and Kent McNall (each 4); (B) Daniel Copeland (4) and Murlin Varner (3.5); (C)
David Griffin (3) and Jeremy Younker (2.5); and (D) Patrick Kirlin (3), and Ken
Hunt-Erickson and Dave Reinhold (each 2.5).

The Collyer Tournament was begun in 1993 by the late Gary Younker in honor of
longtime Spokane chess stalwart David Collyer. The Spokane Chess Club and
the Gary Younker Foundation continue the tourney in honor of both men. The Collyer
Weekend is more than the tourney. Events began Friday night with John Donaldson
graciously giving another lecture at Auntie's Bookstore. He talked about the
recent Lindsborg tournament and his time spent with former world champion Anatoly
Karpov. After the lecture, Donaldson began a 19-board simul. He turned that event
over to Eric Tangborn when the Tacoma IM arrived midway through the event.
Longtime friends of Dave Collyer gathered to play or visit the event. Vancouver's
John Wise, for instance, was unable to play but flew up Saturday to renew old acquaintances.

The event was played this year at the downstage ballroom of Center Stage, a
downtown Spokane dinner theatre. The venue allowed the players a much larger
playing hall than years past and gave visitors a chance to see some of downtown
Spokane's highlights.


The USCF cross table link: http://www.uschess.org/msa/XtblMain.php?200402220940-10328357